Friday, August 29, 2008

Media Panel Discussion Questions

The Steering Committee is finalizing the discussion questions for the media panel program, set for September 10th. The following questions will guide the program and help improve the relationship between nonprofits and the media. Have comments on the questions? Share your feedback.

1) Can you provide tips and suggestions for the following: best way to make a media request (e-mail, phone, press release, etc) and best times of the week or month to contact you?
2) What are effective ways of helping the media to understand the points nonprofits are trying to get across?
3) How can nonprofits make themselves more attractive to the media?
4) What is the best way to get the media to present a balanced picture of nonprofits, especially when there is one that has drawn negative press coverage?
5) What kind of information about nonprofits do you believe you have an obligation to report on?
6) What does the media think of a nonprofit executive directors group? Do you see value in such a group and are you willing to contact the group for information?
7) Does paid advertising by a nonprofit have an impact on the media coverage they may receive? Is there a code of ethics related to this issue?
8) What scenarios can you think of where nonprofits and media outlets could both benefit?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Planning Capital Campaigns

As you plan capital campaigns, what do you think of using the ED Group as a place to touch base with area organizations to see if there are other large campaigns planned for the same time? We were thinking that a point of connection might decrease the amount of overlap that sometimes occurs. Do you see the need for this kind of communication and planning? Do you think the ED Group is a good place for this? We were thinking that this might be a case where the blog calendar could be useful. Let us know what you think!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What's the purpose of an editorial?

Responses to the media survey that we sent out were mostly focused on event coverage and advertising-- but what about opinion pieces? Editorials focusing on the nonprofit community have appeared in several local publications this summer and have left us with some questions: What's the goal of an editorial? Should you have the opportunity to give input before the piece is published? Is it appropriate to respond to an opinion piece? How would you go about doing so? What's the best way to continue discussion about a hot topic?
Here are two examples of opinion pieces that discuss nonprofits:

Even if your organization hasn't been the focus of an editorial, you probably have some opinions of your own in response the the questions raised. What do you think the purpose of an editorial is? Share your comments by clicking below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Journalism Today

While planning the upcoming media panel, we have had the opportunity to chat with many different media representatives. It's been interesting to learn more about the perspectives of folks outside of the nonprofit community as we describe the program we are putting together. Although he will not be participating in the panel, Steve Waters, publisher of The Rome Sentinel, shared some of his big-picture ideas on the state of journalism today. He directed us to his essay on "Journalistic Indifference" where he explores the idea that "if journalism does not protect society it undermines its own existence." You can read more on his blog Just add Waters. While discussing responsible journalism, he also pointed us toward the book Less than Words Can Say by Richard Mitchell, the "Underground Grammarian."